Car Show Spotlights / Sports cars

Before there was a Z

In 1969, the world would be introduced to the Datsun 240Z, which in its own right is a monumental sports car. But few outside the world of JDM fans are familiar with its pedigree, namely the Fairlady, before she got her Z. Nissan can be criticized for its branding hesitancy in foreign markets by creating the Datsun brand, but the criticism here comes in not using the Fairlady model name.

There were five iterations (each weren’t in production long enough to be a model generation) from her inception in 1959 to her coming of age Z-party. The final iteration is exhibited here in this:

1969 Datsun 2000
1969 Datsun 2000

The Fairlady was modeled after the quintessential roadsters and carries with it the charm of the golden age of sports cars from the sixties. She came with an inline four cylinder engine growing from 988 cc to the more familiar 2.0 L size we find today. The final iteration came with 133 hp and weighed in under a tonne allowing a spirited driver to capture the checkered flag in the appropriate class in SCCA racing.

I really wish manufacturers could revive roadsters as a popular body style, but I wager the struggling automotive economy and modern safety regulations will see to its retirement.